If utopia demands utilitarianism, the official uniform might consist of items seized from the racks of Vancouver-based menswear line wings + horns. The label celebrated its tenth anniversary this year, embracing collaboration in a series of special projects and two seasonal collections. We’ll review their latest collection first and return to those collaborations later.
If you’re new to the label, its fall/winter collection—“polar night”—hews close to tradition. It taps Canada’s north for source material and blends those bits with a Japanese quality that’s at the root of their aesthetic. Flick through their lookbook and you won’t find fussy soon-to-be extinct artifacts. wings + horn excel at making functional fashionable and durable. It’s style without seams. If that matters to you, take note.
This May, I visited their Vancouver showroom and sampled some of the fall/winter collection. Among the standouts was a herringbone nylon short parka ($595) in charcoal that had just the right amount sheen to shine brightest when it snows.
A staple of the wings + horns collection is the westpoint chill twino pant ($198), a workhorse inspired by the military. For a more casual look, they’ve added the pigment twill toyko pant ($112) in midnight, petroleum blue and tan.
Like a great sunset, one item that may hold your attention is the dusk stripe terry crewneck sweater ($160)—a staggered melange of navy and charcoal. And there’s plenty more shirts, sweats, jackets, and jeans, not to mention the primaloft combat quilted bomber ($440) in evergreen.
wings + horns ten-year project
I mentioned that I’d return to their 10-year anniversary special projects and it’s about that time. Right now these include a jacket, boots, a rucksack, wallet, moccasins, and a bracelet. Japanese company Porter collaborated on the rucksack and the zippered wallet, which feature leather and suede in their designs.
They kicked off the projects with the wings + horns x nanamica x ace hotel gore-tex parka ($1,280). Meant to thwart the worst weather it’s based on “Nanamica’s ‘cruiser’ jacket and inspired by the bellmen at the Ace Hotel.” The connection is that both wings + horns and nanamica have shown their work at New York’s Ace Hotel.
But the standout items for me are the custom-designed moccasins. For those, wings + horns worked with Vancouver-based leather craftsmen Ken Diamond (watch a video about the project). There’s the thomme ($325) and the koko ($350), and one look at the koko’s shade of black is enough to make it ascend to the top of your wishlist.
Pierre Hamilton is a freelance writer from Toronto, where some of his best friends describe him as an acquired taste. He enjoys bourbon and scotch, but craves craft beer, overproof Jamaican rum and great non-fiction. He has a very limited style knowledge but knows what he likes. He also produces a monthly music podcast called Sound Considerations. Follow him, but not too closely, on Twitter.